Adriana Haslet Davis

I didn’t begin dancing professionally until a few years ago after I found a studio to practice ballroom dancing and have a place of my own to do it. My husband is in the army and he had just returned home right before the tragic incident took place. We had gone to watch a marathon on a Monday morning and after a while I complained that I was tired and wanted to go home. We decided to take a quick walk before heading back and that’s when a bomb blew off at the venue. I could only think about the next bomb and it did blow off soon.

I went into the hospital and I remember myself screaming that I was a ballroom dancer and that was the only thing I could get myself to say. The doctor told me that I might have lost my leg and I just screamed in anguish, unwilling to accept it. I screamed at the doctor and told him that he better have gotten enough sleep at night because he was going to operate on me. He told me that there wasn’t anything he could go to save the leg and he needed me to understand that. I could tell that he wanted me to believe him. There was desperation in his eyes.

Right before I left the hospital, he asked me to let him take out my stitches and when I danced and not ‘if’, I had to let him know. I think that he is an integral part of my life now and I couldn’t have gotten through with this without his support. All the doctors and nurses were compassionate to me and I have no doubt that this was not just another job for them. I received my special prosthetic leg which enabled me to walk again and get back to dancing. It was hard initially, my leg got swollen when I ran a marathon as a tribute to all those people who had lost their lives, but I couldn’t have imagined not doing it. I began dancing after that and I haven’t given up on it.

"Dancing is the one thing I do that when I do it, I don't feel like I should be doing anything else ever. I feel so free." There was a time when I felt that everyone had a bomb and it took a toll on me. I did not have the courage to go back to dancing until I decided to seek help from another doctor who had lost both his legs when he was a teenager. He restored my faith and gave me the courage to dance again.